Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exam Humor

I came across C. Steven Bradford, The Gettysburg Address as Written by Law Students Taking an Exam, 86 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1094 (1992), this afternoon. It's timely, since UW students begin exams tomorrow morning. I'm sure you don't make the classic exam mistakes that Prof. Bradford lists, but you might be amused by his parody as a little study break. You can read the article on HeinOnline, LexisNexis, or Westlaw.

Prof. Bradford, the best securities law professor in Lincoln Nebraska, ends with a few words for his own kind:
Having picked on law students for most of this article, let me turn now to those who write and grade the exams -- the law professors. Law professors are entitled to no great credit for being able to write exams that produce answers of the sort discussed above. . . . We law professors might be more humble (and less willing to write smart-ass, sarcastic articles like this) if we had to reread the exam answers that we wrote as students in law school, particularly those from courses we now teach. We may remember our brilliance as students, but those who graded our exams probably had a substantially different view.40
Id. at 1101-02 (most footnotes omitted).

40. Professor Loss, please do not dig out my old Securities Regulation exam. I will wash your car, cook your meals, do anything that you ask if you spare me the humiliation of having to reread what I wrote on that exam. And please do not let my students see it. They think I know what I'm doing. (O.K., I admit it. Not all of them think that.)

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